Last year at the EconoMe Conference in Cincinnati, Kitty and I were excited to meet many a cool human. Much to our general shock and consternation, many of those cool humans were excited to meet us too! And not just because we were like “Hi we’re friends with Paula Pant.”
This is where we met Barbara Sloan, founder of Tipped Finance. Barbara is a veteran of the tipped workforce: a former waitress, bartender, stripper, and several other tipped professions. More importantly, she’s also a huge money nerd. She has made it her mission to dispense financial know-how specifically tailored to service industry professionals! And she does it all with the fierce determination and tireless badassery we like to see in our women.
“Do no harm” isn’t just for doctors anymore! When it comes to being a consumer, a member of society, we all should strive to do as little harm as possible. From reducing your carbon footprint to supporting ethical business and labor practices to eating environmentally sustainable food, the concept is generally known as “ethical consumption.” We cover some of these ideas here.
But what if we take it a step further? What if you incorporate ethics and doing-no-harm into every money decision you make in your life?
Well then, my Level 15 Social Justice Warrior, you’re talking about wallet activism.
Because I’ve recently developed an allergy to working too hard, I found an expert to explain the concept to y’all.
Alert readers will recognize Tanja as the critically acclaimed (by us) genius behind the blog Our Next Life and her first book, Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way. Tanja spent 16 whole years as a consultant to Democratic politics and progressive cause campaigns, working on everything from renewable energy to healthcare for low-income families. Before that, she covered politics as a public radio journalist.
She’s been outspoken in personal finance media about the need to consider systemic barriers and opportunity gaps, rather than simply pushing already privileged people to accumulate more wealth. It’s part of why theNew York Times called her “the matriarch of the women’s FIRE movement.”
In other words, her progressive activist bona fides are well in order. If anyone is going to out-social-justice-warrior me… it’s this bitch.
Not too long ago, I found myself in a room full of Olde Millennials. And I casually made a deep-cut joke that was only understandable to those who’d read the Animorphs series. I think it was something about Yeerks? Or Andalites? Possibly it was just the admission that Cinnabon is the peak of all human arts and sciences!
The reaction in the room was instantaneous: gasps of recognition, faces lit with excitement. Ohhhhh my god, Animorphs, my childhooooooood! But the joke bounced harmlessly off my husband, who’d never read them. I’m not going to lie: it crushed my soul and I considered divorce.
My partner has never been much of a reader. I’m honestly not sure why, because he is exactly the kind of person you would expect to have been a voracious reader in childhood: a contemplative, dreamy person who imagines deeply and curiously. I seethe with quiet rage when I watch him watch his twentieth hour of YouTube videos exploring Dark Souls lore. How is it possible that no one pressed Garth Nix novels into your hands?
Reading was always a refuge for me. When my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I could climb inside someone else’s. As George R. R. Martin says: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” I can’t imagine what kind of person I would be if I hadn’t read the books I did.
Today I want to talk about six lives I climbed inside again and again when I was a child: Jake, Rachel, Marco, Tobias, Cassie, and Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill. AKA (ah, Katherine Applegate) the Animorphs.
Dear readers, we’ve been holding out on you. For there is something beyond the basic financial literacy we strive to teach you here at Bitches Get Riches. Something that comes after you level up as far as you go with your money.
It’s called FIRE, or “financial independence, retire early.” And it’s something a lot of our esteemed colleagues in the money-writin’ biz are fighting tooth and nail to achieve.
Tanja is awesome. Her book is awesome. Her advice is awesome.
She’s like the result of a long, fulfilling, romantic relationship between a timelessly wise Amazon warrior and your favorite cool aunt, the one who both comforted you about the mean kids at school and bought you your first box of condoms. I’d trust her both to carry my body to Valhalla from the field of battle and to give me sound financial advice, is what I’m saying.